We’re knee-deep in winter right now and many of these tips certainly could have been implemented in the fall. But if you’re just now feeling a little draftier in your otherwise cozy home, read on for some good tips to save on your home heating bills.
Turn down your thermostat – So we start with the obvious. “For every degree you lower your heat in the 60 to 70-degree range, you’ll save up to 5 percent on heating costs,” according to consumerenergycenter.org. Furthermore, set the thermostat to 55 degrees at night and you’ll save an additional 5 to 20 percent off your utility bill. Ok, my wife would NEVER let this happen…but 60 degrees is doable at night and will still save you a good chunk of change over the course of the winter season.
Use Curtains and or other Window Coverings – Drapes on the windows will keep the heat in and the cold out. Use heavy fabrics, such as velvet in the winter and consider backing them with insulated fabric. Drapes, however, can also block the cheapest source of home heating – the sun. So keep them open during daylight hours if that window gets a good amount of sunshine. Usually south-facing windows are the ones that get the most sunshine. So if sunshine is expected, throw those curtains that rest on south-facing windows wide before you leave for work in the morning and on the weekends. Keeping them closed at night and on cloudy days will help insulate the home from the cold.
Another great way to keep the cold out is to install plantation shutters. They look great and are easy to open up when you want to let the sun in. They are a bit more expensive, though.
Reverse your ceiling fan – Reverse the direction of spin on your ceiling fan to help pull cool air up (and thereby pushing the warm air down). This also avoids the cooling effect that is felt if the blades are pushing air down on you. So, how do you tell what direction is pushing and what direction is pulling? Stand under the fan, look up and watch the blades spin – they should rotate clockwise in the winter. To change the direction, use the remote control or the toggle-switch on the unit, just below the blades.
Close the fireplace – Since traditional fireplaces suck warm air up the chimney and pump it out of the house, consumerenergy.org suggests that you not even use it during the winter. If you decide to take them up on that, purchase a piece of insulation and use it to block the chimney. If you still want to use the fireplace, close the vent when it’s not in use (after all hot embers have died down) .
Use a Humidifier – Central heating can be very drying. And this makes everything feel a little colder than it is. Moist air, on the other hand, holds the heat better and naturally feels warmer. Using a humidifier, even in just the room you spend the most time in, will allow you to set the thermostat a little lower.
Something you think you should do but shouldn’t. —–> Don’t close off vents in unused rooms – I was always under the impression that you could save money on heating by closing the vents in unused rooms. Not so say HVAC experts. Modern forced air heating systems require a balanced pressure load throughout the house. Blocking one or more vents throws the load off balance, causing the system to work harder. The Family Handyman suggests that you speak to an HVAC professional before closing heat vents.
Find the heat leaks. I’m a bit of an efficiency junky…and I also love anything tech. So, this gadget is at the top of my list of things to get. Click on the picture for a description of the new FLIR ONE system for iPhone and Android. You can use this thing to find heat leaks in your ceiling or walls…or even find plumbing leaks if you ever have that issue. Click on the picture—>
About the author: The above article “6 ways to save on heating bills right now” was provided by Kevin Guerrero of Keller Williams Clients’ Choice Realty. To find out more about Kevin and Keller Williams check out the ABOUT US page.
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